How an Old Friend of Vikings May Help the Enemy

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) huddle with teammates before a first down against Los Angeles Rams during the first half at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Detroit Lions employ Jared Goff and Nate Sudfeld at quarterback with less than three weeks before the 2023 NFL Draft.

They’re also the darling pick to win the NFC North, a first-in-forever prognosis from oddsmakers. The Lions finished 2022 like gangbusters, tabulating an 8-2 record down the stretch of Dan Campbell’s second campaign.

How an Old Friend of Vikings May Help the Enemy

And now, as Detroit runs with the big boys for NFC contention, it’s evidently interested in a former Minnesota Viking for QB2 duty — Teddy Bridgewater.

How an Old Friend
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted Saturday, “Free agent QB Teddy Bridgewater has interest from several teams, including a strong contract offer from the Lions, per source. Bridgewater hasn’t decided where he’s playing as he takes his time this offseason. Bridgewater can reunite w/ Dan Campbell from their New Orleans days.”

Bridgewater last played for the Miami Dolphins and can sign anywhere in the league via free agency.

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Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) is shown walking off the field after he was tackled in the end zone for a safety. Sunday, October 9, 2022, Jets Vs Dolphins. © Kevin R. / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Vikings selected Bridgewater in the 1st Round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and the Louisville alumnus took over the franchise for two years. In fact, Bridgewater was the last Vikings QB selection in a draft with 2nd-Round or higher capital. He was supposed to become the face of the franchise for a decade-plus but encountered a gruesome injury just days before the 2016 regular season kicked off.

Since leaving the Vikings after the freak injury in 2016-2017, teams led by Bridgewater are 16-21 (.432). Scaled to a 17-game season, Bridgewater has dimed 20 touchdown passes to 11 interceptions per year. He’s essentially matured into “best backup QB in the league” status after stops in New Orleans, Carolina, Denver, and Miami.

Teddy Bridgewater
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

If he signs in Detroit, Bridgewater will provide quite the insurance policy if Goff falls injured. Usually, Detroit signs “some guy” as QB2 because it doesn’t boast lofty playoff-contender stakes, but 2023 may be different. Bridgewater would instantly serve as an upgrade to the aforementioned Sudfeld, and truth be told, isn’t too much of a talent drop-off from Goff.

Signing Bridgewater might also imply the Lions have little interest in a quarterback from this month’s draft. For two years, the Lions actions have insinuated Goff is their franchise quarterback, but some draft brains tend to believe they’ll take a flyer on a rookie like Anthony Richardson or Will Levis at some point.

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Teams led by Bridgewater are 0-2 against the Vikings in his career.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by